(Thank you to Rodel Henry for participating in our “Title the next SNX Blog Contest” and coming up with the title for today’s blog!)
Information Technology, or “I/T” as it is more commonly referred to, is a phrase used quite frequently today, but a term that only truly began to emerge as an every-day concept within the past 20 years or so. “Information Technology” may just make you think of the computer or computer network you’re reading this on, but in fact, it refers to everything from software to hardware to network administration and beyond. Wikipedia defines “Information Technology” as:
“…the application of computers and telecommunications equipment to store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data…also encompasses other information distribution technologies such as television and telephones…In a business context, the Information Technology Association of America has defined information technology as “the study, design, development, application, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems”.
How much has I/T actually changed in the past 65 years? Here’s a breakdown, by decade.
“Considered as one of the most conservative decades in recent memory the 1950s were a time when technology underwent a dramatic evolution.” (-techradar.com)
Enter the world’s first stored-program computer (read our blog about “BABY” here), the first commercial modem – the AT&T Dataphone, and the microchip. While the first microchip bears little resemblance to its modern counterpart, without it, you could say goodbye to your iPhone.
- The first commercially available microchips were released by Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation in 1961 and were around the size of your pinkie.
- A remote online search system is publically demonstrated for the first time by SRI.
- The public sees a mouse for the first time.
- April 22-October 17, 1964: The New York World’s Fair offers public viewing of online bibliographic retrieval at Library/USA. This is the first time the general public sees bibliographic information and interacts remotely with librarians through a computer using standard telephone lines.
- 1969: Internet officially comes into existence.
- The birth of modern computing was in the 1970s. The world’s first general microprocessor — the Intel 4004, came out on Nov. 1971.
- Rudimentary personal computers began to be produced along with pocket calculators.
- The availability of affordable personal computers led to the first popular wave of internetworking with the first bulletin board systems.
- Beggining of the video game era – Atari is established
- Start of Fiber Optics.
- The integration of the computer and robot, particularly in Japan, saw unprecedented improvements in mass-produced automotive quality…such cars as the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla became some of the most popular and iconic vehicles of the 1970s.
- On January 3, 1980: Hewlett Packard introduces the HP-85, a “microcomputer” with 16kB of RAM and a 5-inch CRT display.
- Microsoft licenses Unix and starts to develop a PC version, XENIX.
- Xerox introduces the graphical Star workstation, which greatly influences the development of Apples future computer models, Lisa and Macintosh, as well as Microsoft’s Windows.
- Disney releases the movie “Tron” on July 9, 1982, the first movie to use computer generated special effects.
- A Philips factory in Germany creates the world’s first compact disc August 17, 1982.
- The 3.5-inch floppy diskette is introduced and later becomes an industry standard.
- The first e-mail from China is sent to its connection in Germany September 20, 1987.
- 1989: Invention of the World Wide Web by British scientist Tim Berners-Lee and Belgian Robert Cailliau
1990’s: The Information Age begins…
In 1991, the World Wide Web is implemented, and the Internet truly becomes a global network.
The 90’s saw the spread of the Internet which caused a sudden leap in access to and ability to share information in businesses, at home and around the globe. Technology was developing so quickly that a computer costing $3,000.00 in 1997 would cost $2,000.00 two years later and only $1000.00 the following year.
Innovations of the ‘90s:
- Widespread public application of laptops.
- The term “PDA” is first used, referring to the Apple Newton.
- Online gaming communities become prevalent.
- Widespread public application of cellular phones in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
- Introduction of Digital Television.
- Introduction of Wireless networking (late 1990s).
- Introduction of Tablet PCs.
The “Information Age”, which started in the 1990’s, and which we are currently living in today, is a period marked by the shift from traditional industry (brought about by the industrial revolution) to an economy based on the information computerization. The evolution of technology in the past 65 years is nothing short of astounding, and if it continues at this rate, the world our children’s children live in will probably be a far cry from this one.
How do you think the world of I/T will change in the next 65 years?